My mom is here, and today we're taking her to my favorite Chicago museum, The Museum of Science and Industry. Originally I thought I wouldn't like the MSI, because I never really liked science, and so it was the last of the major Chicago museums that I visited. But once I went, I loved it! They have so much stuff! And it leans heavily toward the "industry" side, so they have stuff like giant full-sized trains, 747s hanging from the ceiling, a German U-Boat from WWII, and the world's largest pinball machine. Oh, and some adorable baby chicks, from which I learned that hatching out of an egg is actually a very long and laborious process, and not that little chicks just burst from eggs and spring to life.
So, you see, it's good to go to museums because you learn things. I learned, for example, that our vile and overpriced grocery conglomerate known as Jewel once started out as a quaint little tea shop. They have this area that is supposed to look like an old-timey main street, where they have the early versions of Jewel, Walgreen's, Marshall Field's (now Macy's), and some fairly nasty-looking dental offices. I love the antique main street. Guess who doesn't? My kid. It's next to the train exhibit, so my time at the antique main street is usually limited to what I can see on the way to and from the bathroom. But I did learn that Walgreen's was once a charming little shop with glistening things in the window, as opposed to the crappy and life-sucking store it now is. And Walgreen's of yesteryear advertised that they sold "drugs and surgical dressings," whereas today they sell Fla-Vor-Ice popsicles and giant boxes of Dots for 99 cents. Now, first of all, why was the average person needing to buy surgical dressings? Shouldn't those be sold at some kind of medical supply store? And did they sell any kind of effective drugs back then, like drugs that would cure your ailment instead of making it worse? Was it just morphine and leeches?
And so, we learn that through the efforts of scientists and industrialists, we can now have hideously florescently-lit Walgreen's that sell effective over-the-counter medications and overpriced toilet paper.
And now we are off to the museum!